Tool
Lateralus


5.0
classic

Review

by Bartender EMERITUS
January 14th, 2005 | 3252 replies | 190,291 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


First, a few things to know if you're not already a fan. This is a long album, something like 4 seconds short of being as long as it could be on a single disc. Its also not lightweight stuff, so if you're checking out Tool as a result of APC, prepare for a bit of a shock.

Anyway, this is Tool's 3rd full, proper album (counting the '92 Opiate EP as an EP and Salival as a stopgap, rather than a "real" album). Their previous albums were Undertow in '93 and Aenima in '96. Lateralus was released in May 2001, so it took them a while to make (although obviously it wasn't the full five years - Maynard was busy recording/touring APC, etc). Anyway, on to the tracks;

1 - The Grudge (8:36)
This is a slow burning track, driven mainly by the percussion and Maynards mantra-like vox. The lyrics seem to be (on the surface) literally about a grudge, about a (slow burning) hatred for someone, though expressed more poetically than most people could probably manage. Oddly the song starts with what sounds like a washing machine switching on, before launching into the huge groove that it stays on for the full eight and a half minutes. Also worthy of note is Maynard's scream about 7 minutes in - lasting almost thirty seconds, surely one of the greatest ever recorded (for greatest, listen to Lord Worm of Cryptopsy in Open Face Surgery). One of my personal favourite tracks.
5/5

2 - Eon Blue Apocalypse (1:04)
3 - The Patient (7:14)
As these two tracks run together, I'll review them together. The beginning of EBA sounds very eastern to me, very mystical. It doesn't so much launch as slide into another very long song, The Patient - on the whole a much quieter track than the opener; that is, until huge guitars lash into it later on. The ideas are again expressed in lyrics better than anything I could ever imagine myself, and seem to focus on a different aspect of a grudge - someone doggedly trying to keep a relationship alive. I don't feel I can give this song full marks, as although it is fantastic, it doesn't leap out at you during your first few listens, and I think thats what reviews should concentrate on.
4.5/5

4 - Mantra (1:12)
5 - Schism (6:47)
Again, they run together. Mantra isn't a song as such, it is just a segue into Schism. I have heard many theories of what the noise on it actually is, from whale song, to the sound of a cat being squeezed by Maynard, slowed down immensely.
Schism is the track you will most likely have heard if you're not already a Tool fan, as it was the first (and as far I know, the most successful) single off of the album. Its begins with one of the most instantly loveable basslines I've ever heard - its not so much a hook as a harpoon; it will get stuck in your head. The lyrics continue the so far recurrent theme of a grudge/enmity, this time concentrating on the actual rift, the distance between the two (ie the schism).
5/5

6 - Parabol (3:04)
7 - Parabola (6:03)
The next single (together), and one of the heavier songs on the album. The first part (Parabol) doesn't seem so; in fact, it returns to the relaxed take shown in the Patient. The music is generally softer and slower, concentrating more on Maynard's softly sung vocals. It then explodes into Parabola, with searingly loud guitars and a much more energetic musical showcase, while retaining the same lyrical themes from Parabola. Maynards vocals remain relaxed for most of the song before he injects more power in to them later on.
5/5

8 - Ticks & Leeches (8:10)
Probably the loudest song on the album, it definitely contains the harshest vocals - it apparently took Maynard three weeks to recover his voice fully after recording it, and, as far as I know, has only been performed live once. It is again very much percussion driven, a real showcase for Danny, along with some searing work from the other instrumentalists. The lyrics, and vocal style, are angry, bitter and strong.
5/5

9 - Lateralis (I've got one of the misprinted albums, so its keeping an "i") (9:24)
Starting off with a gentle and memorable repeating guitar bit, this track definitely lulls you into a false sense of security before jumping off with a huge riff. This is probably my favourite track on the album. The vocals are mantra-esque, as in The Grudge, which (for me) makes the release with "feed my will to feel this moment" later on an almost perfect moment.
5/5

10 - Disposition (4:46)
11 - Reflection (11:07)
12 - Triad (8:46)
Disposition is a slow track, with simple, repetitive lyrics and repetitive, beautiful musical work in the background. Its only 4 1/2 minutes long, but seems a lot longer - its almost perfect for relaxing to if you don't wanna have to concentrate on what you're listening to. Its almost like music for meditation.
4/5
Reflection links perfectly in from Dispositon, and its a long wait for vocals - all the better to appreciate the musical skills the band possess in the buildup. The vocal style is much less relaxed than the rest of the album (though not quite so tense as Ticks and Leeches). Maynards voice takes on a slightly higher pitched quality, which suits the track well.
5/5
Triad is an instrumental, segued into from Reflection. Its good, but only in the same way as Disposition is good for relaxing to, or as a showcase for the musicians skills, which is impressive.
4/5

13 - Faaip de Oiad
"Secret" track (which is actually listed on the back of the case) - not a song as such, it is actually a recording of a phone call made to a morning radio show, from a man claiming to be on the run from his former employers in Area 51. He was spieling it seriously, which equals uneasy comedy if you like that sort of thing (I do:)). It is played over what seems to be white noise (to add to the callers mysterious effect)...the title is in Enochian, which is the language of the Angels as dictated to a man in the 16th century (called Kelley) and his assistant, in visions (I bought a book on it after getting hooked on the album). It means (I think) roughly Voice of God (anyone correct me?).

Anyway, it should be obvious by now that Lateralus isn't a small piece of work - it'll take a while to digest, but it couldn't be more worth it.

5/5

Tool are (on this album)
Maynard James Keenan - vocals, and a bit of guitar on Disposition, I think.
Adam Jones - guitar
Justin Chancellor - bass
Danny Carey - percussion.



Recent reviews by this author
The Wildhearts Earth vs. The WildheartsAlec Empire Intelligence and Sacrifice
Canvas Solaris SublimationCanvas Solaris Spatial/Design
The Blueprint PhenomenologyThe Chasm Deathcult For Eternity; The Triumph
user ratings (4944)
Chart.
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Bartender
Emeritus
November 20th 2003



826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just read over my review, and realised its one of the most ***-kissing reviews I've ever seen. I couldn't help it though, I love it too much.

Led_Zep_Bonham
November 20th 2003



16 Comments


I'd have to strongly disagree with GraveCross, but I still love the album. Reflection stands out the most for me.

Jigglypuff
November 20th 2003



31 Comments


I liked Reflection but my favourite was the title track.

HydrusGemini
November 20th 2003



2 Comments


I agree with everything said above.

Also, just want to say that it may help to understand the album more if people research a few things the album (possibly) touches on, namely:


    [*]The Golden Mean/Fibonacci Numbers (applies specifically to Lateralis)
    [*]Astrology
    [*]Qabbalah (sp?)/Tree of Life
    [*]The Occult (the dictionary definition, not the popular one)
    [*]Cosmic Consciousness

...and I highley recommend visiting www.dannycarey.org as it entails alot of interesting information.

YDload
November 20th 2003



1207 Comments


I like this album a lot, especially since I started playing bass and learned that the first few seconds of "Disposition" are bass harmonics. Great relaxing song.

sting-ray
November 20th 2003



92 Comments


I'm not a big fan of Tool, but i purchased the CD because IMO, after hearing numerous samples, i think its the best Tool album. The vocals are very appropriate for the music. Ticks and Leaches and lateralis are my favourite songs.

my rating: 3.5/5

PeEpHoLe_10
November 20th 2003



31 Comments


i love this album, one of my favourite of all time.favourite song for me is parabol/parabola. brilliant.
5/5

craigmac
November 21st 2003



18 Comments


it is definately one of the best albums ive ever heard. maybe not THE best but definately one of. maynards voice is so chilling but so peaceful at the same time. like an un-easy calmness if you will.

craigmac
November 22nd 2003



18 Comments


how the fuk did you find that book on faaip de oaid???

Bartender
Emeritus
November 22nd 2003



826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Read somewhere that the language was Enochian, searched for it on Amazon, found the Enochian Dictionary. Half of it is actually a dictionary of "known" words, which isn't all that great, but the first half is the story of how it came about, etc, which is really interesting.

craigmac
November 22nd 2003



18 Comments


cool. how did the word come to be about?

i sence alot of typing coming on....

Bartender
Emeritus
November 22nd 2003



826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Heh...in brief;

in 1581, a Dr called John Dee (a renaissance type - mathematician, philosopher, astrologer, scientist in one) was employed as a mathematician in the English royal court. Can't quite remember how (and can't find the book to check), but he ended up being interested in divination and magic, so he and his medium (Edward Kelley) started communing with angels and such. Enochian was the language dictated to Kelley by the angels and deciphered by Dee - Dee also developed it into the Enochian system of magic and invocation(I remember theres a story told by whoever did the foreword for the book about a group he was with who were into this kinda thing who managed a communication with an angel called Laidrom), which has been used as a basis for magicks ever since - if you know who Aleister Crowley is (most serious Tool fans seem to), he used Enochian (theres even some of his recordings in Enochian available on CD).

Enochian was also apparently used by Elizabeth's (the queen in Dee's time) and some later monarchs' secret security force, as a coded language.

Bartender
Emeritus
November 22nd 2003



826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just found the book again, and Faaip De Oiad does indeed mean (roughly) Voice of God, or Voice of the Just One. The book is called The Complete Enochian Dictionary, and its written by Donald C. Laycock, just in case anyone's interested.

Kaden
November 23rd 2003



222 Comments


Thanks, Bartender. I got the cd because of this review. I'm not to into it now, I have a feeling it'll take a while to get used to. But that's ok, all my favorite albums are like that.

RideTheSpiral
November 26th 2003



26 Comments


Great review! Great album.

5/5

moderaterock222
November 26th 2003



121 Comments


i think thats a pretty solid review. i agree with most of the things said..good job

TonyChoyIsGod
November 26th 2003



6 Comments


Yeah, I love this album as well. Ticks and Leeches and Reflection stand out the most for me. Good solid album.

denboy
November 26th 2003



85 Comments


Definatly a 5/5

And about Eon Blue Apocalypse. It's Maynard, squeezing his siamese cat. I read that in the tool faq at toolshed.down.net .. Written by Kabir.. That guy is as close to real confirmation as you can get

The JoZ
November 26th 2003



345 Comments


This was the first album of theirs I got, and so far, I've learned every part for bass except Disposition (don't have the Whammy) and Reflection

YDload
November 26th 2003



1207 Comments


^ Disposition sounds fine without it. I was just playing the intro, and the harmonics parts are really beautiful. I found the tabs for it at mxtabs.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy